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Japan’s transport ministry plans to include in the government’s fiscal 2021 budget some ¥120 billion for supporting airlines hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Jiji Press learned Thursday.

Of the amount, ¥90 billion will be used for reducing or exempting landing and airport usage fees, and ¥30 billion for alleviating the tax burden linked to fuel used in domestic flights, according to informed sources.

The Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan has asked the government and the ruling parties for over ¥100 billion in aid to the airline industry.

Separately, the ministry plans to spend ¥2 billion for helping maintain flights to and from remote islands.

In response to a plunge in the number of airport users, meanwhile, the ministry hopes to secure ¥3.1 billion for giving interest-free loans to airports whose management rights have been sold to the private sector, and ¥5 billion for such loans to Narita International Airport near Tokyo.

Japanese airlines’ business performances are deteriorating rapidly, with travel restrictions implemented around the world amid the pandemic.

ANA Holdings Inc., the parent of All Nippon Airways, is bracing for a record group net loss of ¥510 billion for the year through March 2021.

Japan Airlines projects an annual net loss of up to ¥270 billion. Budget airline AirAsia Japan started bankruptcy procedures last month.

Under the tough circumstances, ANA has decided to cut annual pay for employees by 30%, and JAL has slashed winter bonuses by 80%.

The fiscal 2021 budget will also include ¥50.2 billion for improving railway access to Tokyo International Airport, or Haneda Airport, and ¥7.7 billion for facility development related to the expansion of Terminal 3 at Narita, in anticipation of a demand recovery after the pandemic.

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